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Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom Paperback – 5 Apr 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571227716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571227716
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'Elegant and authoritative.' Independent on Sunday"

Book Description

Informative, lively, and impeccably researched, Andy Letcher's Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom is a unique and engaging study of this most extraordinary of psychedelic drugs.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Best book ive ever read.

My life has improved 100% since reading this book WHY?
I'll tell you why:

2 years ago I wanted to have a sex change because I felt like a little girl in a mans body, I just didnt know who I was.
I was so low that 1 day i was just about to chop my pecker off when i stumbled across a book called 'shrooms'.

I read it and every page sprung sheer delight and optism into my mind, until eventually I took some magic mushrooms.

It made my mind feel free and i had such a good time it made me realise I was actually a man and had a mans mind and I no longer wanted to be a woman.
SO tbh reading this book saved my life and i dont know many books that can do that.
So please, please, please buy this book for the sake of a better life,. AMEN
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An incisive, clear minded history of magic mushroom use right up to the present day. I devoured this book though it wasn't what I was expecting from the garish cover and new-age hippie sounding title. Letcher clearly loves his subject and has distilled a huge amount of research into this brilliant tome. If you thought there was no more to learn about magic mushrooms, then this book will throw up some real surprises. No bemushroomed philosophising here, just sound, rational application to the subject. A valuable addition to any mycological book collection. Oh yes, I forgot to say that Letcher writes really well too. An eloquent flowing style which is very funny in places... Made me laugh out loud.
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Unfortunately, there are two common conflicting ways of thinking about psychedelic drugs; either a snooty biomedical scientific approach which ignores or denies the profound and meaningful experiences 'shrooms can give, or a vague new-agey approach which makes all sorts of mystical and magical claims and doesn't take seriously the need for evidence. This book shows that a third way is possible, where scientific and historical research and critical thinking are central, but the subjective value of the drugs is never undermined. The book shows that we do not need to give up on rationality in order to discuss psychedelic drugs, but that rationality need not be the enemy of enchantment and mystery. It has definitely influenced my own way of thinking about mushrooms.
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I bought this book to answer questions about pre-historic mushroom use in the UK. Letcher's opinion is that there was none and gives mature, rationalised reasons why. Letcher's endeavour to cover mushroom history in its entirety takes large sections of the book to central and north America, and Siberia, which was a bit dry for me but which will be interesting for other readers. I think it's fair to say that Shrooms is well researched and well referenced, even if the thesis somewhat de-romanticises mushroom folklore.
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This is a well written and comprehensive guide to magic mushrooms from their earliest known use to the present day. Though it focusses principally on Britain, it includes fascinating information on the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, and their place in society, from Mexico to Siberia.

Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in altered states of consciousness and for those who have a healthy interest in broadening their range of knowledge.
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